Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

As For Me And Mine!

Joshua 24:15

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

RayMcDFamily traditions – they create memories. In a few months my family will try to enjoy a family weekend without mom or dad. Our family traditionally returns to my mother’s home town for a family reunion. I have many memories – growing up – revolving around this annual trek. My children do as well. Other families have barbecues or go to a ball game or open the pool on this weekend. What are your memories for Memorial weekend?

Family traditions – they create memories. What memories can you remember? Special memories developed around what your family did/does on the 4th of July (cookout at my brother’s home) – Labor Day (wear work clothes to church) – Thanksgiving (serving meals) – Christmas (family night at our home) – and other special days. What about something special for your birthday or anniversary (some even celebrate the anniversary of their first date). I know someone who makes memories at Disney – not only annually but often each year! Continue reading

February 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bread Of Life – Jesus

John 6:48

I am the bread of life.

RayMcDWhen I was growing up – I loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. OK – I admit it – I still love them. I could fix one or two for lunch on Saturday (when I was a child) and it would carry me through the westerns on TV. I could also go for a peanut butter and potato chip sandwich or a peanut butter and banana sandwich or even a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. The key elements in each of these is peanut butter and bread. Before we knew that plain white bread wasn’t the best for us – I would make my sandwiches with it. I later developed a taste for my bread toasted so that the peanut butter would melt on the toasted bread. I also grew to love chunky peanut butter. I now use rye bread with seeds for my sandwiches. It would have been hard to make any of these sandwiches without the bread!

When I was growing up – someone told me that people in prison were only given bread and water to eat and drink.  I responded – what – no peanut butter? And no chocolate milk (but that is another story all together)? Continue reading

February 3, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Satan Is Real and Will Try To Defeat Us

Matthew 4:10

Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

RayMcDIn another week we will begin a new sermon series titled New Believers. It will include a number of basic beliefs and doctrines of the church. It will be a good review of the basics for those of us more mature in the faith while it will be a basic lesson plan for new believers. Recently we had 31 people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and I thought a basic plan was needed.

In the series we will cover such topics as Temptations Still Strike, Hypocrisy Impacts All, The World Embroils, False Claims – Prosperity, and The Whole Gospel. The series will begin on February 12th and run through March 12th. If you live in the area – join us! If not – listen online when the messages are uploaded to our website – www.fumcl.org.

Before we read today’s passage and begin the new sermon series – here is a truth we must all understand – Satan is real! Satan is our to steal our joy and our peace. If possible – Satan is out to steal our walk with Jesus. Today’s passage is from the story about Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Temptations are real and every day – even constant. We can find today’s story in Matthew chapter 4.  Here is a wider view of today’s passage. Continue reading

February 2, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Humility Is Not Easy!

Philippians 2:8

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

RayMcDHumility is not easy! Humility is something many lack. I recently wrote that selfishness was the norm among many of us. Many of us think of ourselves first and others – of at all – last. We see this among many leaders today as well – from both sides of the political aisle and in other areas of leadership too.

Humility is not easy! Today’s passage reminds us that Jesus – the Lord eternal – humbled Himself for our sake. He thought not of Himself – but rather – He thought of us. Philippians 2:8 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Humility is not easy! Valuing others above ourselves is what we are called to do as Christians – as followers of Christ. We are to model Christ’s humility. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Continue reading

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

His Love Endures Forever

Psalm 106:1

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

RayMcDFor some of us – 2016 was a good year. For some of us it wasn’t. My Facebook has been filled with people hoping 2017 will not be anything like 2016. Some folks on Facebook are hoping for more of the same in 2017. It is a mixed bag for sure. Some can’t wait for 2017 while some dread what is to come.

A significant number of celebrates have passed during 2016. People like Carrie Fisher – Debbie Reynolds – David Bowie – Prince – Florence Henderson – Zsa Zsa Gabor – Pat Harrington – Alan Young – Mohamed Ali – Nancy Reagan – Patty Duke – Arnold Palmer – George Michaels – Ron Gloss – John Glenn – Alan Thicke – and many – too many others.

Uncertainty always faces us moving forward. We often know where we have been – but where we are headed is often a mystery. Of course we can make plans – but we never seem to know just what is on the other side of the next turn. Not many – this time last year – would have predicted Donald Trump winning the 2016 Presidential elections. Moving forward – some tread his presidency and some look forward to it. Still – there is uncertainty. The market is exploding with the news while some are crying about what his win means to them. Continue reading

December 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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